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M. Huntbatch and Co. Ltd.  - 1895 advert

M. Huntbach and Co. Ltd.  - 1895 advert

From - Staffordshire Knots, Stoke-on-Trent Church Day Schools Bazaar

Rebuilding old Lewis's site - Market Square, Hanley - late 1960's
View from Market Square looking towards Lamb Street.
At the bottom of Lamb Street (just below the crane jib) can be seen the new Lewis's department store.
By contrast the 1860's store of Huntbach's can be seen to the centre right.

looking up Lamb Street towards Market Square
looking up Lamb Street towards Market Square
on the left is the department store of Huntbach's
the glass canopy is the entrance

Alderman Huntbach of Hanley

Michael Huntbach (b.1837 d.1940)
Michael Huntbach (b.1837 d.1940)
People of the Potteries

The grave of Michael Huntbach - a prominent local businessman
The grave of Michael Huntbach - a prominent local businessman
- in the first class non-conformist section of the cemetery -  

"We regret to have to record the death of Alderman Michael Huntbach, one of Hanley's best-known and moat esteemed citizens. He died on Tuesday evening at his Llandudno residence. About two years ago Alderman Huntbach had a serious illness, and was obliged to undergo an operation. He recovered to a considerable extent, but it was generally felt that his life's work had been accomplished, and though he retained, by the unanimous desire of his colleagues on the Town Council, his position as an alderman, he had only been able to take any part in municipal work on rare occasions during the last two years. About ten days ago he had a relapse, and on Thursday last it became known that there was very little hope of his recovery. He passed away in the presence of the members of his family.

Mr. Huntbach was born at Pipe Gate in 1837. Coming to Hanley in 1852, he served an apprenticeship with the late Mr. Thos. Swift, of Upper Market-square, and remained with him until 1861, when he commenced business for himself in a small shop in Lamb-street, With the assistance of his wife - a daughter of the late Mr. W. Kirkby, of Trentham - and his two sisters, he was able to lay the foundation of a great trading concern. The firm, Messrs. Huntbach and Co., Limited, have now a permanent staff of about 300 persons, with shops. Workrooms, Warehouses, &c. of large and imposing dimensions. During the course of years the business has been extended from time to time by the acquirement of neighbouring premises on both sides of Lamb-street. The history of the firm is a marvellous example of what can be accomplished by foresight. business acumen, and upright and straightforward dealing.

Mr. Huntbach's connection with the Town Council began in 1871, when he was returned for the North Ward and served the office of councillor for three years. He did not seek re-election at the end of that period, and remained free from the shackles of municipal work till 1886, When he was again returned for the North Ward. In 1889 he was elected Mayor and served the office for three years in succession. It was during his Mayoralty that the ratepayers decided on the purchase of land at Shelton, Etruria, and Northwood for laying out as public parks.

On the 16th of May, 1802, Mr. Huntbach, in his third year of office, cut the first sod on the site of the Hanley Park, and at a banquet Which followed the ceremony gave £1,000 and 1,000 trees towards laying out the ground. He also gave 200 trees to Etruria Park. During these years as chief magistrate, Mr. Huntbach was raised to the aldermanic bench. In 1901, according to the unanimous wish of the Council, he accepted the Mayoralty for a fourth year. One of the principal events during this latter term of office Was the assembling of the Trades Congress at Hanley in 1905.

In 1892 Alderman Huntbach was placed on the Commission of the Peace for the borough, and in 1898 he was elected an honorary freeman of the borough. On the Town Council he had been for many years the chairman of the Markets Committee, and was also a member of numerous other committees. Mr. Huntbach was a Liberal and Nonconformist, having been for many years associated with Bethesda Church. He leaves two sons in the business......

As a tribute of respect to the memory of Alderman Huntbach, flags were at half-mast on the public buildings in Hanley. The Stoke Town Council, on Thursday, passed a resolution of condolence with the family, and a similar resolution was passed at a meeting of the Hanley League of Young Liberals.

The interment took place yesterday afternoon in Hanley Cemetery. On the previous day the body was brought from Llandudno, and rested overnight in Bethesda Church. Prior to the interment a funeral service was held in Bethesda Church, and was attended by a large congregation. The service was conducted by the Rev. E. F. H. Capey, assisted by the Rev. J. Rutherford……

..Among others present were the Mayors of Hanley, Stoke, and Longton, members of the Town Council and the magisterial Bench, representatives of the Chamber of Commerce, the Traders' Association, Bethesda Church, Hanley Liberal Association, Corporation officials, and many private friends....

…. The route to the grave was lined with spectators. Employees of the firm acted as bearers. The coffin was of moulded oak, with electro-plate mountings. The inscription Was:—" Michael Huntbach. Born Nov. 1, 1837 ; died Feb. 2, 1910." In addition to the family Wreaths, floral tributes were sent by members of the firm " in loving memory of a revered Chief," by the Staff, the Mayor and Mayoress of Hanley, Friends at Bethesda, the Hanley Liberal Club, the Directors of the Potteries Economic Permanent Benefit Building Society, the Hanley Nursing Society, Hanley Borough Officials, the Horticultural Fete Committee, the Boys' Brigade, the North Staffordshire Traders' Association, and many others."

The Staffordshire Advertiser, 26 February 1910